FACTBOX - What the rival suitors plan for Opel

July 22 Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:45am EDT

July 22 (Reuters) - General Motors officials meet the German government on Wednesday to discuss the three takeover offers for carmaker Opel. [ID:nLM170667]

A potential row is looming as GM appears to prefer the bid from private equity firm RHJ International (RHJI.BR), while Germany favours that led by Canadian auto supplier Magna MGa.TO. China's Beijing Automotive (BAIC) has also bid.

Following are details on the bidders' plans for Opel:

MAGNA

- Strategy

Wants to expand its car assembly business and plans to use some Opel plants to assemble models for other car companies. It forecasts high growth rates, particularly in Russia, home of its consortium partners Sberbank SBER03.MM and GAZ (GAZA.RTS).

- Shareholding

Magna and Sberbank would each hold 27.5 percent. Around 10 percent would be taken up by Opel workers and 35 percent will remain with GM.

- State guarantees

The group says it needs 4.5 billion euros ($6.4 billion) of guarantees from the German government.

- Equity investment

Will invest 500 million euros in Opel. Only a portion would be equity. The rest would be a loan from Magna.

- Jobs

Around 10,000 of the total 50,000 jobs across Europe would be cut, with 25 percent of the job losses in Germany.

- Plants

Could close Belgium's Antwerp and Britain's Luton plants.

RHJ (RHJI.BR)

- Strategy

Shrink Opel production to return the company to profit. Could sell on the company in the future, possibly even back to GM.

- Shareholding

RHJ to hold 50.1 percent stake, while GM retains 39.9 percent. The remaining 10 percent would be held by workers.

- State guarantees

Needs German state guarantees totalling 3.8 billion euros. These would be paid back by 2014.

- Equity investment

To pay 175 million euros at the closing of the deal plus 100 million euros on Dec. 31, 2012

- Jobs

To cut about 10,000 jobs throughout Europe, of which 8,100 are in manufacturing

- Plants

To close Antwerp by March 2010 and mothball Germany's Eisenach for next two years

BAIC

- Strategy

Offers prospect of helping Opel expand market share in China.

- Shareholding

Wants to buy 51 percent. The rest would be kept by GM.

- State guarantees

State aid of around 2.64 billion euros is needed.

- Equity investment

Sources say it will invest 660 million euros in Opel.

- Jobs

Around 7,600 jobs would be cut Europe-wide, including 3,000 in Germany.

- Plants

To idle production at Antwerp through March 2010 as it considers closing it. Eisenach would also be mothballed for the next two years.

(Compiled by Angelika Gruber, Marilyn Gerlach and Maria Sheahan; Editing by Will Watermanr) ($1 = 0.7063 euro)

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